SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1973

Effect of Particle Shape on the Engineering Properties of Granular Soils


The use of relative density correlations based on an “average” sand to predict soil behavior without considering the particle shape can result in poor or misleading predictions. Experimental data show that the particle shape has a pronounced effect on all engineering properties studied. Angularity of the particles increases the maximum void ratio, strength, and deformability of cohesionless soils. Variations in engineering properties due to particle shape can be as large as variations associated with large differences in relative density. Penetration tests in small containers with small rods suggest that the Standard Penetration Test is influenced by both the angularity and density of cohesionless soils.

Author Information

Holubec, I
E. D' Appolonia Consulting Engineers, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.
D'Appolonia, E
E. D' Appolonia Consulting Engineers, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 304–318
DOI: 10.1520/STP37879S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5534-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0081-7